This is the heart-warming story of SB who came from a remote village in Odisha, one of the not so developed states of India, and got a CRT done with the support of Boston Scientific Inc. USA. She now says that she has seen heaven here.
The past year was not too kind to SB and her husband, who had no job or income and depended on their son’s meagre earnings to live their routine, uneventful lives in one of the poorest districts of India. Last year SB discovered that her joints had swollen and there was a continuous, dull pain in the abdomen, which would not go away with simple treatment. When she also had intermittent bouts of vomiting, she decided to travel to Cuttack, the nearest city with relatively good medical facilities, and consult a physician.
SB consulted a senior consultant at the SCB Medical College, Cuttack, who examined her and informed that she has a problem with her heart. Added to this was the bad news that SB had uncontrolled diabetes. Tests were done and treatment options were discussed, but everything was too expensive (around INR 5lakhs or $8000)and unaffordable for the poor lady and her simple family. Gradually she became so weak physically, and so tired mentally, that she was even unable to do any of her regular household chores.
And thus the family suffered silently till her brother who was working in a Sai Seva Samithi in Jajpur, Odisha, as a service volunteer advised her to visit Sathya Sai Hospital in Bangalore. If there was one place that could help her it was this, he told her. Mustering hope SB travelled to Bangalore in August 2016 and decided not to return till she was completely cured.
She found a small place in Kadugodi, just 5 miles away from the Sathya Sai Hospital in Whitefield, and stayed there, while frequently visiting the hospital hoping for treatment and cure. She gradually became a regular visitor for the Brindavan pooja and bhajan sessions. The heart surgery could be done, the doctors said but her uncontrolled diabetes was an impediment. The diabetes had to be controlled first for her heart ailment to be treated.
The shifting of the Sathya Sai General Hospital to the SSSIHMS premises proved to be a boon to SB. She started her regular diabetes treatment – which meant taking insulin injections twice, every day – for several days. Soon days became weeks and weeks became months, and yet she was not ready to give up her fight. Finally she heard the doctor telling her what she wanted to hear always, “Now you are ready for the surgery, and your diabetes is under control…”
On Feb 1, exactly six months after she set foot in Bangalore with the sole aim of getting cured, she was ready for her heart surgery. She was happy that her ordeal would end soon, but somehow luck proved elusive. SB was finally admitted for CRT-P on March 17, and immediately thereafter the surgery was done.
She recovered well and today SB is no longer the ‘patient’ she was. Her patience has paid off and she has happiness writ large on her face. Needless to say the family is happy with the treatment. “I have got a new lease of life,” she says happily. She is very happy with the doctors, nurses and all the staff ‘for treating her like their own’. As she waits to return home to Odisha, she is happy that she can now come back to SSSIHMS, not just for reviews or check-ups, but any time she wishes for she says, “SSSIHMS is my heaven, and Sai Baba is my God.”

(As told to Dr. Jagadish, a sevadal volunteer and written by Mrs. Sheela Sai Prasad)

Note to the Reader:
In a normal human being the pumping efficiency of the heart is around 70% but in these cases it could range from 5% to 30%. These devices increase the pumping efficiency of the heart removing all the associated problems due to low pumping efficiency.